A Kayak Shaped Like a Vagina Just Got This Artist Indicted

In Japan, the land of tentacle erotica and used underwear vending machines, a kayak in the shape of an artist's vagina has sparked a national debate about the nation's strict obscenity laws.

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi, whose provocative work has gotten her arrested twice in the past year for distributing "obscene" design files to make three-dimensional models of her vagina, has been indicted on those same charges. Igarashi, who goes by the pseudonym Rokudenashiko ("good for nothing girl"), was initially arrested after Japanese authorities intercepted emails of printed data of her vagina, which the artist had been sharing in an effort to crowdfund her most ambitious project to date: a seaworthy, vagina-shaped kayak nicknamed the "pussy boat."

Well, it delivers what it promises.

The work runs counter to Japan's strict — and often bewildering — pornography laws. According to Japanese law, all porn must censor the genitals of actors and actresses. According to Japan Times, "If convicted, Igarashi could face up to two years behind bars and a fine of [$20,755]."

Porn or art? According to her website, Igarashi has made smaller versions of the "pussy boat," along with a variety of other molded replicas of her vagina like her "pussy lampshade, a remote-controlled pussy car, a pussy accessory, a pussy smartphone case and so on."

In Japan, a draconian 1907 law governs the production and dissemination of "obscene" material, including, apparently, boats shaped like vaginas. The law has created anti-obscenity squads comprising people whose job it is to color over pubic regions in imported pornography. Although porn is freely available to anyone in Japan with an Internet connection, adult films produced in Japan are still required to pixelate penetrative sex. Meanwhile, cartoons depicting child sex still remain legal.

Hopefully, the backlash against the indictment will foment a change in Japan's censorious pornography laws before the nation is rendered incapable of recognizing even the most basic female anatomy — like the Mic offices:

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Scott Bixby

Scott is a senior correspondent at Mic, covering the Republican presidential campaign and LGBT issues. He is based in New York and can be reached at scott@mic.com.

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